Members of the public are now being allowed to film, Tweet and blog on the internet from council meetings after a change in the law.
Councils in South Yorkshire have been reluctant to allow filming in particular – with Sheffield Council refusing to allow it, against previous Government guidance.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “I want to stand up for the rights of journalists and taxpayers to scrutinise and challenge decisions.
“Councillors shouldn’t be shy about the public seeing the good work they do.”
Mr Pickles said councils were also reminded of citizens’ rights to documents.